A year in review
by Press-Banner
Dec 27, 2012 | 2997 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print

As 2012 ends, we’re looking back at the accomplishments and happenings in Scotts Valley and the San Lorenzo Valley during the year:



“American Idol” rocker James Durbin wed his longtime sweetheart Heidi Lowe on New Year’s Eve in Mount Hermon. Durbin, a Santa Cruz native, had 85 guests in attendance at a chapel inside the conference center.

Brook Knoll Elementary School Principal Phillip Menchaca announced he was leaving for another job in San Jose, opening the door for Shar Santos, a longtime teacher, to become principal in March.

The campaign for the 5th District seat on the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors got started with several candidates, including Eric Hammer and Bruce McPherson, who eventually went to a runoff following the June election.

Felton businesswoman Claire Campbell returned from Cambodia, where she worked for several nongovernmental relief organizations.

Longtime Scotts Valley Middle School employee Lynn Beebe died from breast cancer and was honored by more than 500 people in a memorial service at Scotts Valley High School.



Redevelopment agencies throughout California were dissolved, forcing cities, including Scotts Valley, and counties, such as Santa Cruz, to seek other ways to save money for development.

The Scotts Valley City Council voted to allow riding of scooters in the Scotts Valley skate park.

The town of Boulder Creek was featured by Sunset magazine as one of 20 “ultimate fantasy towns” and described by the magazine as “absurdly rural.”

Pacific Gas and Electric Co. customers were given the option to opt out of the Smart Meter program after the California Public Utilities Commission ruled that PG&E could charge $75 plus $10 each month for customers who chose to keep their analog meter.

Daniel Grebil of Ukiah was hired as Scotts Valley’s fire chief, replacing longtime chief Mike McMurry.

The Scotts Valley High School varsity boys basketball team won the first playoff game in school history, defeating Greenfield High 56-46 as Garrett Johnston scored 16 points.



Nancy Macy, longtime director of San Lorenzo Valley Recycling Center, announced her retirement from the post after 34 years on the job.

Boulder Creek Feed and Pet Supply succumbed to a bad economy and closed after 15 years in downtown Boulder Creek. 

The Santa Cruz County Plastic Bag ban took effect March 20. The ban was championed by former 5th District Supervisor Mark Stone.

The controversial Zayante Oaks housing project in the Felton Meadow bit the dust — after the county spent more than $2.1 million in loans and settlements since 2006.

Shortly after two people were killed in separate accidents at the Laurel Curve on Highway 17, long-planned work began to close off a turn lane, install signs and groove the road surface to make it safer.

San Lorenzo Valley High School Principal Mike Arredondo announced his departure because of health concerns, and Athletic Director Marcus Northcutt announced that he would step down from his post in June.

The Sempervirens Fund committed $250,000 to keep Castle Rock State Park open for a year after the park was slated for closure by the state.

Michael McClish, formerly of Ben Lomond, was convicted of murdering Joanna “Asha” Veil and her unborn baby and sentenced to life in prison.



Lompico Water District borrowed $30,000 from San Lorenzo Valley Water District to study a possible merger between the two districts.

Olivet University failed to close escrow on the Bethany University campus in Scotts Valley by April 17, and the property went back up for sale, although Olivet remained on campus through May. 

Scotts Valley Mayor Donna Lind kissed the Blarney Stone in Ireland for eloquence.

Developers of the Woodside Project — 50 single-family townhomes on Scotts Valley Drive — broke ground.



San Lorenzo Valley High School junior Sasha Airumian captured the Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League title in diving.

A group of government officials and business people from the Netherlands, including North Holland Vice Governor Elisabeth Post visited Scotts Valley’s Zero Motorcycles during a trip to learn about electric vehicles in California.

Felton resident Karen Van Putten was named the new San Lorenzo Valley High School principal, replacing Arredondo.

The Tour of California bicycle race returned to Santa Cruz County, including a leg that raced through Bonny Doon and Boulder Creek before finishing at Cabrillo College in Aptos.

Organized locally by Jackie Maurer, the annual American Cancer Society Relay For Life took place at Skypark in Scotts Valley to raise money for cancer research.

Ben Lomond’s Justin Russell sank a hole-in-one at Seascape Golf Club and won $25,000 at the Michael J. Russell Memorial Golf Tournament put on by St. Lawrence Academy in Felton.

The Felton Meadow was sold to Mount Hermon, which pledged to use it for recreational purposes.

A Scotts Valley man, John Geringer, was accused of facilitating investment fraud of $60 million.

SLV High School runners Anna Maxwell and Cody Johnson each captured individual Central Coast Section track titles — Johnson in the 800-meter race and Maxwell in the 3,000.



June 5 election returns included a $48 parcel tax to support Scotts Valley schools, but the 5th District supervisor race was too close to call, and McPherson and Hammer went to a runoff in November.

Mountain Community Theater celebrated its 30th anniversary.

Ben Lomond’s 125th anniversary was celebrated with several nights of history led by local Karen Scarborough.

The Redwood Mountain Faire returned to Roaring Camp Railroads for a two-day music celebration, organized by the Valley Women’s Club.

Felton cookie-maker Jimanne Hayes and her business, Red House Bakery, began offering gluten-free cookies through Pacific Cookie Co.’s store in Santa Cruz.

Kristin Ard was promoted to replace Conrad Sudduth as Scotts Valley’s recreation manager.



A team from the nonprofit Scotts Valley Artisans center painted a 93-by-17-foot mural in one day in the Kings Village Shopping Center. The mural, designed by artist Ruth Poe, celebrated the history of movies in the city.

Ben Lomond dentist William Anderson returned from Micronesia, where he and his team provided dental work to an underserved population.

Sgt. Mitch Medina was promoted to replace Sgt. Jim Ross as the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office representative at the San Lorenzo Valley Sheriff’s Service Center.

Mark Mercer, a San Lorenzo Valley High School alumnus, was named the school’s athletic director.

San Lorenzo Valley High School hosted the water polo Junior Olympics as a fundraiser for the school.



A vehicle license tax that would have added $10 to vehicle registration in Santa Cruz County to pay for road improvements was kept off the ballot when the Regional Transportation Commission voted 6-5 against the tax, saying it would not have achieved enough.

Felton Gas opened as a Valero station with a facelift, making it easy on the eye and more tourist-friendly.

Wendy’s, a Scotts Valley mainstay for more than 20 years, closed its doors.

Transitional kindergarten, the first year of a two-year kindergarten program, was launched for the first time in local schools.

Tlaloc Antonio Venancio, 27, of San Diego, won the annual Race-thru-the-Redwoods in Felton, despite making a wrong turn at a mismarked path toward the end of the race.



Outdoor burning rules in the San Lorenzo Valley tightened, making it illegal to burn outdoors without a permit issued by the Monterey Bay Unified Air Pollution Control District.

Scotts Valley poll worker Connie Adkins was honored by California Secretary of State Deborah Bowen for 60 years working the election polls.

Local water agencies, including San Lorenzo Valley and Scotts Valley water districts, applied for a multi-million dollar grant to intertie water pipes in the county.

Space Shuttle Endeavor, attached to a NASA 747 Boeing shuttle carrier, flew over Santa Cruz County, easily visible to the naked eye, en route from Florida to its final resting place: the California Science Center in Los Angeles.



A bird flew into some wires and caused a blackout that knocked out power to nearly 2,900 Scotts Valley homes on a Monday afternoon.

Carl’s Jr. replaced Wendy’s on Scotts Valley Drive to help fill Scotts Valley’s fast-food void. 

Following a $1 million contribution from Scotts Valley residents Joe and Linda Aliberti, a group led by Randy Krassow announced that it would build a Boys and Girls Club in Scotts Valley.

Former Scotts Valley Mayor Joe Miller died at 71.

The Press-Banner was purchased by Will Fleet, the former publisher of the Fresno Bee, and Ralph Alldredge, the publisher of the San Andreas-based Calaveras Enterprise.

Jackie Maurer and Konrad Baumert were named Woman and Man of the Year by the Scotts Valley Chamber of Commerce.

Scotts Valley’s Zero Motorcycles received $1.8 million in grant money to expand its operation in Scotts Valley.



Muralist Emanuel Martinez completed several wall murals in Santa Cruz Juvenile Hall in Felton, with much help from the incarcerated youth.

Election returns found wins by Bill Monning as the 17th State Senate District representative and Mark Stone as the 29th Assembly District representative. After nearly a month of anticipation, Bruce McPherson won the 5th District Santa Cruz County supervisor seat by several hundred votes.

Employees of Raley’s stores in Northern California, including Nob Hill Foods, went on strike for nine days, protesting changes in health care and other benefits. It was the first strike in the company’s 77-year history.

The Chinese artifact collection of the deceased George Ow Sr. — nearly 20,000 pieces — was auctioned off by Slawinksi Auction Co. in Scotts Valley to buyers around the globe.

Scotts Valley High School cross-country runner Vanessa Fraser, a senior, repeated as Division IV California Interscholastic Federation state champion.



In his last year with the team, San Lorenzo Valley High School football coach Doug Morris was named Coach of the Year in the Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League.

A science classroom was dedicated at Bonny Doon Elementary School.

Food pantry volunteers Sheri Greene and Andres Villa were honored as Angels of the Year by Valley Churches United Missions.

Water rates in the Scotts Valley Water District were approved for a 3 percent increase each year for the next five years.

Safeway agreed with the city of Scotts Valley to take over development of the Town Center project.

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